Community connections

Circle of Light returns to Sanfordville Elementary School Peace Wall


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  • Photos by Roger Gavan Mya Joy Barbour, 5, was given the task of handing out candles out to the approximately 75 adults in the families that attended.




  • Before the celebration the Peace Wall had been adorned with luminaries creating a "Circle of Light" to instill a sense of well-being and peace.




  • Retired Sanfordville teacher Beverly Braxton read “I want to write something so simply” by Mary Oliver.




  • Mayor Michael Newhard read “Wage Peace” by Judith Hill.




  • Beverly Braxton holds a light for Ivy Tulin, who sang “The Fallow Way”




  • At the conclusion of the event candles, which had been handed out to the approximately 75 adults in the families that attended, were lit as a symbol of joy and life-giving power.




— On Thursday evening, Dec. 21, the organization, Imagine Warwick, held its second annual Circle of Light at the Sanfordville Elementary Peace Wall.

Imagine Warwick was created by a group of local residents to help honor the rich diversity of our community, while celebrating the imagination and creativity that resides in all of us. Its mission is to build and strengthen the community by providing shared experiences that celebrate the beauty and diversity of the Warwick Valley and all of its people.

The organization members state that they look to cultivate new and innovative ideas, creativity, intergenerational wisdom and the ability to dream an even better community into being.

The Peace Wall Memorial was created by Grade 3 and Grade 4 students in 2003.

It was designed as a response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center as an expression of the students' hopes for a more peaceful and just world.

Today the Peace Wall is a public space for anyone seeking a place to contemplate peace or to pay personal tribute to those impacted by the tragic events of that day.

Before the celebration the Peace Wall had been adorned with luminaries creating a "Circle of Light" to instill a sense of well-being and peace.

The event featured live music and poetry readings by local residents including Mayor Michael Newhard, who read "Wage Peace" by Judith Hill.

Other readers were Beverly Braxton, who read "I want to write something so simply" by Mary Oliver, and Barbara Priestner, who read "There is a providence that brought us here" by John O'Donohue.

Ivy Tulin sang "The Fallow Way" and Jody Weatherstone, her daughter Audrey and her students sang "Waiting for the Light to Shine".

At the conclusion of the event the candles, which had been handed out to the approximately 75 adults in the families that attended, were lit as a symbol of joy and life-giving power.

"Though cold outside," the mayor said, "the celebration was filled with the warmth of community. It's nice to take a moment and connect with our friends and neighbors and to find hope in the longer days to come."

- Roger Gavan








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